Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye
This is my choice for the first day of a new year: a book filled with the hope for peace.
Fourteen-year-old Liyana Abboud loves to hear her father call her habibi - Arabic for "darling". But she's not prepared for her family's decision to move from St. Louis to Jerusalem. This provocative novel from the acclaimed poet builds a bridge to the Arab world, introduces a family readers won't soon forget, and offers a hope for peace.
I so enjoyed traveling with Liyana and seeing Palestine through her eyes. I especially loved the grandmother in the story - a character larger than life and so real.
Author website where you can listen to poems and interviews: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/174
Lesson Plans: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/young-adult-literature-about-1136.html